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2002 BMW Z4 Road Test Review

BMW Z4

How you doin'?

Coming to a dealership near you this fall is the sexy BMW Z4, a premium two-seater featuring a fresh new design and all-new chassis.

When its predecessor, the BMW Z3 roadster, was introduced in 1995 (as a '96 model), it captured people's attention - in particular with its public debut as James Bond's new company car in Goldeneye and virtually created the premium roadster segment. Its replacement is so completely revised that it will carry a new designation - BMW Z4.

The new body offers the roadster aficionado not only a spacious cockpit and a large luggage compartment offering about nine cubic feet of space, which is large enough for two golf bags. The soft roof comes with a heated glass rear window and neatly folds down for storage. An integrated tonneau cover eliminates the need for an attachable boot. The available fully automatic top can be raised or lowered in about 10 seconds.

Available with a choice of two high-torque in-line sixes, the Z4 roadster 3.0i (225-horsepower) and the Z4 roadster 2.5i (184-horsepower) offer more than enough power to keep things interesting. The Z4 roadster 3.0i will be available with a choice of 6-speed manual or 5-speed STEPTRONIC automatic, while the Z4 roadster 2.5i offers a 5-speed manual or STEPTRONIC automatic. Next spring a Sequential Manual Gearbox (SMG) will be available in both models. The Z4's handling will establish new benchmarks. The suspension is a modified version of the highly acclaimed suspension from the 3 Series. Dynamic Drive Control (DDC), available as an option, features a "Sport" Button. It provides even more spontaneous acceleration and power at the touch of the gas pedal, quicker steering, as well as an even more aggressive shifting program for the five-speed automatic transmission.

Standard features of the new Z4 include a leather sports steering wheel, sport seats, a rollover safety system, and remote entry system. Options available at extra cost include a DVD-based navigation system with 16:9 display which retracts into the instrument panel, a premium sound system with Carver technology for powerful bass reproduction, and an integrated hands-free phone.

The BMW Z4 roadster will be available for sale in the US market this fall, then will make its appearance in Europe in spring 2003. As before, the new roadster will be built in Spartanburg, SC.

For more information, click here.

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